Renovating Before Selling Your Condo: Smart Move, or Waste of Time?

If home improvement reality television has taught us anything, it’s that the first thing you should do when you decide to sell your home is invest a bunch of time and money into renovating it. Pouring loads of work and cash into a place you’re about to sell might seem counter-intuitive…and maybe that’s for a good reason. After all, there’s plenty a good condo renovation you can do for a unit’s listing price, but in reality, how likely is it that you’ll recoup the money you spent on the remodel, much less make a profit? Read on and find out.


Planning Your Reno

We’ll cut to the chase: believe it or not, it can sometimes be a good idea to spend a few hours and a couple of bucks on renovations before listing your home in order to get the best bang for your buck on the market. Before you grab that hammer, though, first thing’s first: check in with your condominium’s bylaws to make sure that the work you do won’t have to be immediately undone for noncompliance with your condo’s governing legislation. The last thing you’ll want to do is rip up all that beautiful new hardwood flooring because it doesn’t conform with your condo’s bylaw’s stance on issues relating to noise!

Aesthetics, materials, and even elevator bookings all need to be taken into consideration in advance in order to make sure you don’t run afoul of any rules or regulations as you work to spruce the place up. Be diligent and possess a solid understanding of your community’s bylaws, and you’ll be demoing walls and laying new tile before you know it!



Renovating for Success

If you’re renovating to sell, it’s important to keep in mind your end goal when planning out your angle of attack. Ultimately, you’re not looking to build that dream living space you’ve always wanted, but rather, you should be putting together a plan that will produce the greatest return on investment possible. Start by setting a budget that you’ll be able to make back in the difference that your new listing price will afford, and focus in on these key areas for your greatest chance at renovation success:


  • This is a high-traffic area that can often be the functional centre of a home, meaning that renos here can have a solid impact on your final list price. Don’t feel like you need to rip the entire room apart, though – even just replacing the cabinets, lighting, or plumbing fixtures can do a lot for this particular space (and for the value of your condo!).
  • A renovator’s secret weapon. Slapping a fresh coat of paint on your condo before listing it is an incredibly cost-effective way to freshen up the place without spending an arm and a leg to do so.
  • Similar to kitchens, bathrooms are high-traffic spaces that people are eager to find attractive and inviting. And, just like with kitchens, you don’t need to redo your entire bathroom to have a significant impact on your condo’s list price – changing fixtures, countertops, or lighting is often all that’s needed to do the job here.
  • A touch more labour-intensive than painting, you can do a lot of good for your condo’s list price by laying down some attractive new flooring before putting your condo on the market. Just be sure to follow our advice and double-check that your new flooring adheres to your condo’s bylaws before spending all weekend installing it!



Stick to these tried-and-true renovation techniques, and folks will be happy to pay top dollar when you list your home on the market. Do you have more questions about staging a successful pre-sale renovation? We’re always happy to chat – get in touch with us at Catalyst Condo Management.